This statistic illustrates the monthly average crude oil prices of the OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) basket for the period between October 2012 and October 2013. The OPEC basket is a weighted average of prices for petroleum blends produced by OPEC countries. It is used as an important benchmark for crude oil prices. In April 2013, the average price of the OPEC basket was at 101.05 U.S. dollars per barrel.
The OPEC basket oil price
The OPEC crude oil price is defined by the price of the so called OPEC (Reference) Basket. This basket is an average of the prices of petroleum blends, which are produced by the OPEC members. Some of these oil blends are, for example: Saharan Blend from Algeria, Basra Light from Iraq, Arab Light from Saudi Arabia, Girassol from Angola, Es Sider from Libya etc. OPEC tries to keep the price between given maxima and minima by increasing and decreasing its oil production. The OPEC reference basket includes both, heavy and light crude oils, and is heavier than most other crude oil mixtures (benchmarks).
The OPEC Basket is one of the crucial benchmarks for crude oil prices worldwide. The most significant benchmarks are UK Brent, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Dubai Crude (Fateh). Because there are many types and grades of oil, such benchmarks are indispensable for referencing them on the global oil market. Looking at the OPEC price within the last 12 months, the highest peak was reached in February 2013, when the annual average price stood at almost 113 US dollars per barrel. Since then, the tendency goes towards a slow decrease, oscillating slightly above 100 US dollars per barrel.
OPEC stands for “Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries” and was founded in 1960 in Baghdad, Iraq. The following countries are members of this organization: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Qatar, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates. The main aim of the OPEC is to coordinate the oil policies of these countries, and thus to have more influence on the international oil market.